Tracking AK

Currently Targeting... JG Ballard, Sad Day for Funerals

JG Ballard, Sad Day for Funerals

J.G. Ballard’s death today of a long illness seems to wager the question, what did he really die of? what does anyone really die of? The future? The past? According to the BBC, who refer to (nee) James Graham Ballard, aka JG, as a “cult author”, Ballard was, well, a cult author, and yet:

His friend and fellow author, Iain Sinclair, said Ballard had developed into a major literary figure. “He was one of the first to take up the whole idea of ecological catastrophe. He was fascinated by celebrity early on, the cult of the star and suicides of cars, motorways, edgelands of cities. All of these things he was one of the first to create almost a philosophy of. And I think as time has gone on, he’s become a major, major figure.” [bbc linkvideo]

There were a ton of excellent interviews, etc with Ballard up on youtube, but it seems someone recently removed them for violations. ermm… anyway, I remember JG Ballards stories since i was young… in particular, for their interplay of the real and the abstract… there was one about a man who one day abstracts his world into colors, shapes and sounds, before drowning funerally yet beautifully in a goldfish pool. Another, Manhole 69, (great title, but not applicable,) is about what happens when the need for sleep is surgically removed… we lose the ability to reference context, and become both too large for the world, and too small. Another was about evolution and global warming.. The Drowned World… a classic. Scientists are huddled on the last land mass, greenland, while the rest of the world goes tropical and the pretensile brains of mankind begin to revert to overheated reptile experiences. Not to mention the earliest and most important of jg ballards work, the uphill bicycle race story, in which he clearly supports the only scholarly perspective on Alfred Jarry being the most important perceptionary of the last 200 years. (alongside with Stanislaus Ignacy Witkiewicz, of course…)… Alas. Good bye, JG Ballard.

Of note and mention, the term “Ballardian” is defined as “resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in Ballard’s novels & stories, esp. dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes & the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.”

J.G. Ballard

resources from around the web:

  1. the wikibrain of all that is ballard
  2. “The Enlightenment view of mankind is a complete myth. It leads us into thinking we’re sane and rational creatures most of the time, and we’re not,” Ballard said in a 2003 interview with Australian newspaper The Age.nytimes story on Ballards exit
  3. review of The Drowned World
  4. bbc story
  5. slashdot mention
  6. jg ballard dot com
  7. the Times Online

April 19, 2009
Tax: » Death, Obituary , , , ,
Nav:»  « Home / Permalink » 

AK Otterness